WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday said anti-Semitism is “horrible,” and “painful,” speaking out for the first time about a rising tide of incidents and threats targeting Jewish people and institutions since he was inaugurated.
During a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump made the comments after drawing criticism in recent days for failing to condemn anti-Jewish threats and actions.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he said.
Trump said his visit was “a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”
At a news conference last week, the president had reacted angrily to a question about his response to anti-Semitic threats, calling the query insulting and demanding that the questioner, who works for a Jewish publication, sit down.
A White House spokesman said Monday that any such incidents were unacceptable, without specifically mentioning Jews or anti-Semitism.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism, wrote in a Twitter post on Monday that “America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC” JCC is the abbreviation for Jewish community centers.